THE ENTRY INTO PARIHAKA.
A correspondent of the Lyttelton Times wires the following occount of the entry of the forces into Parihaka:— Arrived at the summit of a small hi 1 overlooking Parihaka, at a distance of about 300 yards, the party separated; Captain Dawson, Mr Barclay, and my brother correspondent remaining to watch ! the movements of the troops from the point gained; Mr Humphries and the writer proceeded to Parihaka. There I found the natives gathered together in a large open space between two rows of houses to the number of at least 2,500. They were addressed at intervals by Te Whiti and Tohu, the tenor of their speeches in no way differing from that of other speeches recently telegraphed to you. Both enjoined peace and forbearance under any insults or oppression. The natives were more than usually grandly dressed, most of them wearing white feathers in their hair. In a large square at the entrance to the pah about a hundred young girls were assembled amusing themselves with skipping-ropes. Beyond them, on the road leading to Pungarehu, some hundreds of boys were gathered, awaiting the arrival of the hoia (soldiers) with great glee. I strolled round the pah. and found the women engaged in their usual occupations, and as cordial in their welcome as ever. I noticed, however, that amongst the adults—the women especially —there was a prevailing sadness, as though they felt a great calamity was approaching. The attempt to reply to a joke or bit of chaff was piteously feeble. The whole spectacle was saddening in the extreme; itwas an industrious, law-abiding, moral and hospitable community calmly awaiting the approach of the men sent to rob them of everything dear to them. As the time approached when the troops might be expected to make their appearance at Parihaka, Messrs Humphries, Thomson, and I went down the road as far as we deemed safe in view of the order to arrest newspaper correspondents, and then stole back behind stones and fences. At 7.15 a.m. we first noticed some skirmishers extending from the left (our right), and as it was evident that, if we remained there we would be outflanked by them, we retreated from hillock to hillock, keeping well out of sight. I afterwards ascertained that they were hunting the dreaded newspaper men, and succeeded in arresting four or five. At 8 o’clock the head of the column appeared round a bend of the main road. Slightly ahead of them rode Colonel Roberts, commanding, and Mr Bryce, with their respective staffs, formed by the Armed Constabulary, volunteers, infantry, and mounted rifles Owing to the obstacles thrown in the way of Press men, I cannot get hold of the details; but I understand that about 650 men of all ranks left Pungarehu, and
were joined at Parapara by about 1,000 men, under Major Goring, from llahotu. As they proceeded towards Parihaka pickets were left at various points on the road, with instructions to stop all civi lians. Within about 400 yards of Parihaka halt was called, and the staff rode up a slight hill on the road, from which the pah could be viewed. They remained about ten minutes. All this time we were lying hidden about midway between the position occupied by the staff and where the Maoris were assembled. The position was a most curious one, so far as we correspondents were concerned. We were actually hiding from, and retreating before the European invading for-e, to which we ought to have been attached, and retiring for safety upon the supposed enemy. Shortly another move forward was made, the head of the column making direct for the principal entrance to the pah. Across this were drawn up in two lines about 200 nearly naked boys, who vigorously danced the halca, and sang songs in derision of the invaders. It was mere child’s play to break through these. At this stage the Armed Constabulary were within 150 yards of where we were, and we considered it advisable to get into Parihaka and secrete ourselves where we could observe the subsequent proceedings. It had been previously explained to the Maoris that we had been forbidden by the Pakehas, under pain of arrest, to witness the proceedings ; but, nevertheless, we were determined to run the risk. They replied : “ We quite understand why the Goverment are ashamed that the country should know what it is doing, but we have nothing to be ashamed of, and you are welcome. ” They then proposed that we should sit in the centre amongst them, and they would prevent our arrest. The impropriety of this was pointed out to them, and finally, arrangements were made for our occupation of a cooking whare from which we could hear and see
all that might transpire. In the meantime, the troops were advancing steadily , in columns of four, companies of volun- , teers being thrown out so as to nearly i surround the pah. At 8.45 a.m., the Constabulary entered the pah, halting just within the first row of whares. Mr . Bryce, who rode a white horse, looked exceedingly anxious. Mr Rolleston was on foot, and seemed to regard the whole affair as a good bit of fun. At this moment Tohu commenced speaking, but in so low a tone that we could not hear what his words were. By this time Mr Humphries and myself and our interpreter, Thomson, had taken up our position in the whare, from between the slabs of which we could observe everything. Mr Bryce, Colonel Roberts, and the staff now took up a position on a slight eminence near the burial ground, about thirty yards to the rear of the whares. Precisely at 9.35, Major Tuke, accompanied by Mr Butler, as interpreter, came up to the edge of the Maori gathering, and without speaking a word waited for five minutes. The Maoris had previously been warned that he would come to-day for their answer to the Proclamation. On the expiration of the five minutes Major Tuke Read the Riot Act. Mr Butler translated it, and both then withdrew, the Maoris still paying not the slightest attention, but maintaining a dead silence. This was perhaps the most exciting period of the whole proceedings. Whatever Te Whiti might direct would be inevitably done. The whole assemblage sat with eyes fixed on Te Whiti. His slightest variation of countenance was reflected in the faces of all, and any words that he addressed to those close to him were whispered from one to another, until they reached the uttermost circle of the densely-packed meeting. At 10 o’clock a company of picked men, numbering ninety-five, under the command of Captains Newell and Gudgeon, marched further into the pah, and took up a position within a few yards of the assembly. Captain Newell briefly addressed the men, telling them to be firm,but to use no unnecessary violence. They were armed with loaded revolvers, and carried handcuffs. Just about this time some conversation took place respecting the absence of newspaper correspondents, while, as a matter of fact, I could have touched Captain Newell with a walking stick. Tohu now addressed the natives briefly. He said : 11 Let the man (Bryce) who has raised the war finish his work this day. Let neither men nor women cook. We have already eaten, and will wait were we are. Do not let any be absent. Stay where you are ; even if the bayonet be put to your breasts do not resist.” Until 10 50 a period of deep suspense and suppressed excitement followed. At that hour the bugle sounded “ advance skirmishers,” and the skirmishers swarmed down the surrounding hills towards the pah, forming in a line round it. Major Tuke again came towards where the arresting party were drawn up. Some conversation passed between him].and_Captain Newell,
when the latter again spoke a few words to his men, telling them that if they were to put on the handcuffs they were, to 7 | “clinch them tight.” Major T-uke addressed the men, cautioning them against excitement, but telling them that if any Maori flashed a tomahawk to shoot him down instantly. He then called to the interpreter :—“ Butler, can you point him (Te Whiti) out ?” Mr Butler did so. Captain Gudgeon remarked: “I think that Grey of No. 6 Company would be handy here,” meaning that Grey could identify the men who were wanted. Grey was then called forward. A few moments after Colonel Roberts said :—“ Call Te Whiti.” Mr Hursthouse (another interpreter) do so. Te Whiti replied that he would not come to him. Mr Rolleston replied that he would not go to Te Whiti, but that Te Whiti must come to him, where he was standing by the burial place. Te Whiti replied that he would remain with his people. He had nothing to do with the fight of that day ; it was not his fight, but that of the pakehas. Te Whiti then intimated that he was prepared to see Mr Bryce if he had anything to say to him. For his part he had nothing but good words to say to Mr Bryce. Mr Bryce replied in a tone that those who heard considered harsh, that he would not come to him unless he made a path among his people, through which he (Mr Bryce) could ride. The natives, it roust be remembered, were so compactly packed that to do this was an impossibility. Te Whiti replied quite calmly that the horses’ feet might hurt some of the children. Mr Hursthouse interpreting for Mr Bryce, said the horse was a quiet one. Te Whiti replied that if Mr Bryce wanted to speak to him, he must come on foot, Mr Bryce said the day for talking was past. Te Whiti immediately retorted : ‘ ‘ When did you find it out!” Mr Bryce: “This morning.” Almost immediately afterwards, Mr Bryce ordered Colonel Roberts to carry out his instructions. The latter, addressing Major Tuke, repeated the command, adding “Do not touch any of the women or children.” Major Tuke ordered Captain Newell to have Te Whiti arrested, and two of the arresting constables instantly made their way through the crowd to where Te Whiti sat. Instead of resistancebeing offered, way was made for them, and Te Whiti quietly awaited their approach. • The moment they laid hands on him he rose and Colonel Roberts, evidently thinking the constables must use ! unnecessary violence, called out “Let him walk if he will.” He came away in a very dignified manner, his wife following closely. Tohu was arrested in a similar manner, also Hiroki. Te Whiti and Tohu were arrested by Constables Willis and Woodward. Constables H. Mulholland, who knows Hiroki well, and shortly afterthe M'Lean murder was employed in chasing him, was detailed to arrest him. As Mulholland approached him, Hiroki folded his arms across his breast, and Mulholland, suspecting he had weapons concealed, ordered him to throw his arms up. This Hiroki immediately did and was handcuffed and searched. Nothing was found upon him. He was then passed to the rear, orders being given to the guard to keep him separate from Te Whiti and Tohu. Thece are being treated as State prisoners, Hiroki as an ordinary criminal. At this stage Colonel Roberts gave the order to “ search the whares.” Many of them were searched, and we were in momentary dread of being discovered and arrested but fortunately our hut was passed over, notwithstanding, as I afterwards ascertained, that your correspondent was strongly suspected of being about somewhere.
After their arrest, both Te Whiti and Tohu were allowed to address the people. Te Whiti said : “ Be of good heart and patient. To-day’s work is not of my doing ; it comes from the hearts of the pakehas. Upon my fall the pakeha builds his work. Be steadfast in all that is peaceful. ” Tohu said : This is the doing of war. Be not sad this day. Turn away the sorrowful heart from you. We go away as fools and as captured men. We looked for peace and we find war. Be steadfast and of large heart. Keep to peaceful works. Be not dismayed ; have no fear but be steadfast.” They were then led away, and one woman just outside our whare expressed her sorrow, when another replied, “ Why are you sorry 1 Look ! he is laughing as he goes away with the Europeans. ” When still within ear-shot Te Whiti turned round and called out to his people : “ Let your dwelling be good in this place, oh my tribe. Works such as these will be finished this day.” He and Tohu, together with Te Whiti’s wife, were driven to the Pungarehu block-house. Subsequently I learned that passing a whare on the way he called out, “ Keep your spirits up and return to your whares. I will te with you again.” Shortly after the prisoners had been taken, Kina, a Taranaki chief of some standing, briefly addressed the people. He said “Continue to follow the teaching of Te Whiti and Tohu, even if we are all arrested on the land that has come to us from our forefathers - ”
It was expected that more arrests would be made, as it is known that a large number, of warrants had been signed, but nothing further was done up to the moment of my leaving. The people remained in the same position,_ looking very disconsolate, and the troops still surrounded them. About an hour after the arrest, my fellow-correspondent, who had been told of my hiding-place by a halfcaste, slipped a piece of paper through one of the interstices, on which was written that he thought we might come out. It appears that after the arrests had been effected, correspondents, who had previously been arrested and sent to the rear, were permitted to come up to the front. Shortly afterwards we emerged, and if anything in connection with one of the saddest and moat shameful spectacles I have witnessed could be ludicrous it was the expression on the faces of the authorities when they saw that their grand scheme for preventing the colony from knowing what was done in the name of the Queer at Parihaka had been completely frustrated. Not an action escaped observation ; not an order given was unheard or unrecorded.
The opinion amongst those who are best qualified to judge, is that the position of the settlers is now worse than before, especially if the large armed force is disbanded. Te Whiti’s restraining influence has been removed, and the more turbu-
lent, excited by to-day’s events, may take revenge after the Maori fashion. To-day the kindness of the Parihaka people to me was great, and their satisfaction at knowing that the proceedings would be recorded, very marked. Since writing the foregoing, I have heard that the Maories intend to recommence fencing to morrow, and will resist interference.
New Plymouth, Nov. 6.
Up to the time of my leaving Pungarehu last night, nothing new had occurred. The Constabulary had formed camps, and the Maoris were preparing food for themselves. Te Whiti, I hear, said to a constable who took him some refreshment that he would be back in Parihaka next Friday.
As there was not the slightest prospect of getting Press messages away from the Pungarehu office last night, I started at 10 p.m. with our despatches, carrying also the Press Association message. There was some doubt as to whether I would be allowed to cross the Stoney river bridge ; Colonel Roberts, in reply to a question, saying it rested with the discretion of the non-commissioned officer in charge of the party guarding the bridge. I was challenged, but allowed to cross. This morning I rode into New Plymouth in time to catch the wire.
Later. It ia rumoured that Mr Bryce intends to-morrow to clear all the natives out of Parihaka, at the point of the bayonet, if necessary. If this is true, there will certainly be bloodshed. My information is indirectly from an official source.
[Per Press Association.] Pttnoakehc, Nov. 5. Several gentlemen left for Parihaka at daylight this morning. While the troops were marching to Parihaka, several special correspondents were turned back, and in one or two instances were ordered under arrest, and escorted to the rear.
[The following was issued by us as an “ extra” on Saturday night] : Pungarbhc, Nov. 5.
The troops advanced from both camps at 5 a.m. on Parihaka. There was great excitement. The Armed Constabulary entered first. The Nelson and Thames Volunteers, under command of Major Pitt, formed the left flank, the Canterbury and Marlborough Volunteers the right flank, and the Wellington and Thames Navals the centre. The Riot Act was read. There was great hakas by the boys, and the men were in good spirits. The Volunteers closed on Parihaka at 11 a.m. Te, Whiti was arrested by Major Tuke at 11.30 a.m. Tohu was then arrested, but there was no resistance. The Volunteers were well placed. Hiroki was afterwards arrested. Te Whiti and Tohu have been sent to New Plymouth.
Permanent link to this item
THE ENTRY INTO PARIHAKA., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 495, 7 November 1881
THE ENTRY INTO PARIHAKA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 495, 7 November 1881
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.